* Minutes of Fed’s Sept meeting due at 2 p.m. ET
* Health and tech stocks drag
* EMC up on report of buyout interest from Dell
* EBay hit by report of slowing same-store sales
* Indexes down: Dow 0.07 pct, S&P 0.27 pct, Nasdaq 1.02 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Oct 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Thursday as investors await the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s September meeting to get an insight into the central bank’s decision to keep interest rates steady.
Healthcare stocks fell again while a decline in tech stocks added to the pressure. Apple’s 2.1 percent drop weighed the most on the three major indexes.
A six-day rally in global stocks was checked as weak trade from Germany and factory data out of Japan added to worries about slowing global growth, a key reason the Fed did not raise rates last month.
“Markets are just showing fatigue ahead of what will probably be our best look into just how close the September FOMC decision was to keep interest rates on hold,” said Ryan Larson, head of U.S. equity trading at RBC Global Asset Management in Chicago.
“It’s really going to show us as to what extent the Fed is worried about developments or any kind of slowdown in emerging markets, specifically China.”
The Fed minutes are due at 2:00 p.m. ET (1800 GMT).
Data released on Thursday showed U.S. jobless claims fell more than expected last week. That gave a more upbeat view of the health of the labor market than Friday’s weak monthly report, which prompted speculation that the Fed would not raise rates this year.
At 12:48 a.m. ET the Dow Jones industrial average was down 12.53 points, or 0.07 percent, at 16,899.76.
The S&P 500 was down 5.38 points, or 0.27 percent, at 1,990.45 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 48.86 points, or 1.02 percent, at 4,742.30.
Half of the 10 major S&P sectors were down, with the health index’s 1.04 percent fall leading the decliners. Tech stocks were down 0.74 percent.
Investors are also bracing for quarterly results that will reveal how badly U.S. companies are being hit by slowing global growth and a strong dollar.
Profit at S&P 500 companies are expected to fall 4.5 percent in the third quarter, the biggest decline in six years, according to Thomson Reuters data.
After the close, Alcoa will report results officially starting the earnings season. The stock was down 0.4 percent.
EMC rose 5 percent to $27.27, the biggest boost to the S&P 500, on reports that Dell is in talks to buy the data storage firm. VMware, 80 percent owned by EMC, was down 6 percent at $76.97.
McDonald’s rose as much as 1.7 percent to $103.47, its highest since May 2014, after Suntrust Robinson rated the stock “buy”.
EBay fell 6.9 percent to $23.91 on a report that its same-store sales growth in September was the weakest since February 2011. Amazon was down 2.8 percent at $526.18.
Shake Shack fell 6.2 percent to $45.46 after the burger chain filed for a secondary share offering.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,839 to 1,140. On the Nasdaq, 1,332 issues fell and 1,325 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 11 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 47 new highs and 30 new lows. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar and Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)